Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Still here

Where "here" is "same city, same number of children, same job, same husband, same house".

In some ways chugging along, in other ways as with all things child- and adoption-related, so much is new.

Small has started school. He is flourishing, but he is still struggling with some things (sensory things, anxiety, motor skills). School is super duper fabulously wonderful and he's in the "motor skills action group" and has seen an ed psych who is totally on the same page as us and felt he's doing OK but not that we were wasting her time. All at school agree he is very bright (preens self) which may be contributing to his anxiety. He asks about his first family. He asks to see his baby brother (who is now in foster care by the way).

He didn't want to have his half term holiday because "I'll miss my teacher". She is also wonderful (though v young) and says how much Small and Tiny look alike which makes her even more wonderful in my book.

Tiny decided to take off her nappies in May. She has not been as quick to move on to being dry, and in particular had two days of constant puddles just last week, coincidentally (or not) while I was on a work trip. She talks loads but is very unclear - much more than Small at this age. She sings to herself and potters around and is generally happy but an expert at tantrums. Much louder than Small was, too. Fixed opinions on clothes (at about the same age that Small started doing the same).

I had a really bad spell of health (both mental and physical) over the last year. I have lots of new medication. I rattle but feel much better. Mr Spouse has had similar, his is a longer standing condition and harder to sort out but his consultant is reasonably pleased.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Greetings from...

Our former city of residence in SoCal. We have been here a week and have a few more days here and in the city my family lives in, and we've been in Birth State, just in Agency City, not in Birth City, for about a week before this. Apparently it's weird to take a three week holiday, going by people's surprise before we left.

Small and Tiny are doing really well though but we and they struggle with some things. Small is nearly 3 3/4 and has some escapologist tendencies which are not safe on roads, but gets so stressed by hand holding that he kicks, hits and bites. He also casually (and occasionally not so casually) hurts Tiny. He messes with/breaks stuff but that's a lot less of a big issue, just irritating.

But he's coming on fabulously in lots of areas. Very articulate but still with cute mispronunciations. So much so that you forget he doesn't understand long sentences. Great to spend time one to one with (except maybe for the running off), a joy to watch at the beach. Like last year, I feel I'm reliving a childhood summer. Also can be very kind to Tiny, and sings to her when she is grumbling that she doesn't want to sleep (Twinkle Twinkle Little Tiny). Making progress at sharing at nursery. I'm working on not shouting and not grabbing him if he is messing with Tiny.

Tiny, who is 15 months, has just realised we are MEAN and NASTY when we say NO! and that this is the END of the WORLD because really her life will be OVER if she can't pull the fireguard off the wall. Teenage years will be fun with both of them. I have no worries about sustaining Small's connection with his home culture. I worry constantly about Tiny. But even if she'd grown up with Nella the most she would have had would have been people around her and school mates, her birth family do not really live in a world that celebrates or connects with the Hispanic world.

Tiny is also coming on in leaps and bounds. She has eschewed bothering to walk (she took two independent steps yesterday before deciding it was too much effort) in favour of trying to climb out of her travel cot, spearing her food with a fork (occasionally the wrong end), and copying her brother making vroom noises with toy cars, and putting his feet on the table. Oh and biting his fingers back. He cried. A lot. I was not very sympathetic. Come to think of it, he hasn't done it again.

I should also say that we met up with Lovely Foster Carer in Agencyville (very lovely to see her, Small particularly happy) and that Nella, her parents, Big Sis and Steve (Nella's boyfriend) plus four month old Baby Brother also all travelled down to meet us. Yes, that's right, baby brother, 10 1/2 months younger than Tiny. With her birth parents. Steve seems to be holding down a job. I would say I'm happy for them but to be honest I'm more concerned.

During the day of the visit but thankfully not while we were there, some behaviour transpired which led to birth grandparents saying that they were happy to see and correspond with us but that they would not be seeing Nella again. We are also not sure it is safe for us or our children to see her without professionals present. We will look into this (in the UK this would be standard, but in the UK all adoptions go through the equivalent of DCS).

Thursday, October 09, 2014

More Miscellany

* I don't know how to do bullet points on my phone but that's the easiest way for me to post at the moment.

* Potty training continues to go astonishingly well. We may be in our third consecutive dry day.

* Mummy however is struggling with shouting. The current flash point behaviour is mainly around food, but any exclusion (shutting out of the kitchen to stop him grabbing at the stove, or in his room so I can do TMI type things in the bathroom) tends to lead to an accident on the floor. So it's hard to prevent food-related bad behaviour.

* Tiny seems to be teething, but it took Small 3 months from this stage to an actual tooth.

* I am currently pinned under a sleeping baby while Small watches Ceebeebies. I think I'll live.

Friday, October 03, 2014


Erm... oops?

I keep thinking of little things that I mean to write but by the time I've got anywhere near a computer, they are gone out of my head. I will try and give you a few bullet points, not necessarily the most global or interesting ones.

  • Small is more or less potty trained. Wha....?! He just decided he wanted not to wear nappies, we went through three weeks of constant accidents, and he is now a whizz (ha ha, sorry) on the loo but still has the occasional pair of wet pants (currently between zero and two per day), usually now through being busy with something else rather than attention seeking.

  • My niece is now living with my mum (this is somewhat relevant to the Family of Five's recent post). She hasn't been in school for a year, she was "failing" before that, she's in her last year of primary school and has only had two years in school before that, and although she has in theory been home schooled in practice there has been borderline neglect and no schooling at all. Not surprisingly she's apprehensive about secondary school and also suffers from social anxiety and very poor sleeping. Sound like any children my fellow adopters know?

  • We met up with the lovely Hairy Farmer Family recently, she'll be able to tell you that Tiny continues to be gorgeous.

  • We also met up with a relative who said something along the lines of "but she doesn't look that dark". I'm not quite sure what the implication was, maybe that we shouldn't bother telling Tiny her birth father wasn't white?

  • Small and Tiny's birth area was mentioned on the news recently and Small said "where's Nella?". Our collective gob was smacked.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Forgot to say we are home!
Not much time to say much else, sorry.
If I sit down ever, I'll post a bit more.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Day in the life

We are supposed to hear something about the visa tomorrow. In the meantime, we have been trying to keep busy.  Our days seem to go something like this:

2am. Wake up and panic that we haven't fed Tiny.  Realise she's still asleep.
3am or so. Tiny wakes up. Feed Tiny.  Change nappy. Tiny decides it's time to play.  Persuade her it isn't by putting her in swaddler. Tiny resists. Tiny goes back to sleep. Brain decides it's time to play. Realise it's 9 am at home. Check email.
4am. Check email again.
5am. Go back to sleep.
6.30am. Small demands milk. Ignore him
6.40. Repeat.
6.50. Give up and give him milk.
7am. Feed Tiny in the brief interval before Small demands breakfast with menaces.
7.30 or so. Small has now finished his brief period of playing nicely for the day.
9am. Realise that we have not yet dressed Small or ourselves, or showered, and that we are due to go out. Unsure where the last 2 hours went.
9.30 am. Argue about who is ready to go out, and whether we have time to feed Tiny again.
10am. Go out to some activity. We do have a weekly schedule, including a church "moms who shop" daycare, swimming, the zoo, and the library.
11am. It is close of business at home, despair of getting any news today.
11.30 am at the latest. If we have been outside, it is now too hot and we go inside for lunch or home.
12.00. Waiting for lunch. Small is yelling "food coming" and throwing cutlery. 
12.30. Lunch arrives. Tiny demands a bottle.
1pm or so. At home, Small down for a nap.
2.15. Praying that his nap will last. One of us has possibly gone to the supermarket, in which case he will definitely have a short nap and wake up grouchy.
3pm. Small is probably up, throwing all his toys, and being told not to pull his sister's arm (no idea why this seems appealing to him). If we are lucky, he is also "helping" to sweep the kitchen/sort the laundry.
4pm. Decide it's cool enough to walk to the mall/dollar store/throw a ball around the garden/that you really do feel like filling the paddling pool.
4.15pm. Small is tired and hot and yelling Up! Up! Or you are deeply regretting the walk as you are tired and hot. Or Small has got bored of the paddling pool within 5 minutes of you taking 10 minutes to fill it.
4.30. Wonder how long it is till bedtime. Small throws more toys while we feed Tiny.
4.45. Small has been sent to his room for the 10th time. Half his toys are in our bedroom.
5.00. Give in to demands for Tumble ipad. Or Big Bird Elmo.
5.10 Small says "No dis one! the End!" after every scene.
5.30. Decide to make Small his own dinner and get adult takeout.
5.50. Small eats the meat and carbs and says "all gone". Say you'll help him. Put 1 cubic mm of potato on a spoon on top of a carrot. He eats both (For which we are eternally grateful).
6.10. Bath and running around naked.
6.30. Drinking milk on nappy change mat while kicking parent. Repeated walking out of room until he stops.
6.45. Small rejects all possible stories including all his previous favourites. Is told he will have story X or no story. Forcible teeth brushing. Asks for kiss from Mummy, Daddy and Tiny. 
7.00. Order takeout. Go and collect takeout. Small demanding more soft toys. Cannot see Small under toys. He then demands cars. Refuse.
7.30. Arrive home with takeout. On entering apartment, Tiny smells takeout and demands milk. Eat takeout one handed.
8.00. Boil water for formula, watch Breaking Bad, drink alcohol. Tiny demands song and dance.
9.30. Persuade Tiny to have more milk.
9.45. Tiny in swaddler.
9.46. Parents in bed. Read 3 pages of relaxing book.
10pm Asleep.
Midnight. Awake and panic that we haven't fed Tiny. Realise she's still asleep.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
(Yes, they do seem just as long to us...)

Saturday, July 05, 2014


We've been celebrating:
Mr Spouse's birthday yesterday;
July Fourth today;
And Tiny's placement yesterday!
But I'm too tired to tell you much more.